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The Tudors Season 2

CoverI just finished watching Season 2 of The Tudors, and my only complaint is that it was not as deliciously fabulous as I expected it to be... but what kind of a complaint is that, right? I had previously watched Season 1 a few months ago, and so I knew fundamentally what I was getting in for, though the buzz I'd heard surrounding Season 2 painted it as even more of a wickedly watchable soap opera, loved by fans while looked upon dubiously by critics. Honestly, it was a bit more engaging and faster paced than Season 1, though not quite the compulsive guilty pleasure I had hoped for.

For those who might not know, or might not have guessed, The Tudors is a Showtime network series based on the tumultuous relationships and politics of England's King Henry VIII. Rather than a yawn-worthy historical biopic, the show aims to be a sexy retelling, free to take a few liberties with history for the sake of telling a good yarn. Liberties are indeed taken, but mostly they are measured, chosen carefully with good story sense in mind, and ultimately pretty few considering that the show otherwise sticks closely to known history.

Please don't get me wrong, The Tudors is very enjoyable and great fun to watch. I was looking forward to popping in the DVD when I got home from work every night last week.Cover Often, however, one episode scratched the itch, and I found myself switching to lighter fare after one installment. I suppose that hits at the crux of one problem in The Tudors. I felt that the show made too forthright of an attempt to cast the atmosphere of a serious historical treatment, while at the same time spinning a sumptuous story. This cohabitation of the two sides diffused the drama for me at times. Also, the pacing of the entire two seasons seemed problematic to me. Too much time was spent on the King's getting a divorce from Katherine of Aragon, and the downfall of Anne Boleyn happened too quickly. How delicious it would have been to see power slip more slowly from Anne's fingers, to watch her make decision after decision to dig a deeper hole for herself.

All in all, The Tudors is great program in the grand Showtime network tradition, fun and sexy and intellectual; those who follow my reviews will know that I often have the most critique to offer of media I most enjoy. So please pick up these DVD's if you're a fan of historicals, fantasy or just good television.


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